As Invokana Lawsuits Move Forward, MDL Sought for Farxiga Ketoacidosis Claims

Published on February 6, 2017 by Sandy Liebhard

Dozens of Invokana lawsuits involving ketoacidosis and other alleged side effects are currently moving forward in a multidistrict litigation underway in New Jersey federal court. Now plaintiffs pursuing similar claims against the manufacturer of Farxiga are seeking centralization of their cases as well.

Invokana and Farxiga Side Effects

Invokana and Farxiga both belong to a class of Type II diabetes drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors. These medications work by preventing the absorption of glucose in the blood by the kidneys, allowing for its elimination via the urine. Invokana was the first of the class to be approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and came on the market in March 2013. Farxiga was approved in January 2014.

In December 2015, the FDA required that the manufacturers of all SGLT2 inhibitors implement label changes to reflect the potential for diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially fatal condition that occurs due to a buildup of toxic ketones in the blood.  The drugs’ labels were also updated to include information about life-threatening blood infections (urosepsis) and kidney infections (pyelonephritis) that originate as urinary tract infections.

Last June, the FDA ordered the manufacturers of Invokana and several other SGLT2 inhibitors to strengthen label warnings regarding kidney complications, after the drugs were cited in more than 100 reports of acute kidney injury.

SGLT2 Inhibitor Lawsuits

Currently, around 100 Invokana lawsuits are undergoing coordinated pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey. All of the pending claims were filed on behalf of individuals who suffered ketoacidosis or serious kidney complications allegedly related to their use of the Type 2 diabetes drugs. The Invokana litigation was created in December by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) in order to allow all such federal claims to undergo coordinated pretrial proceedings. The JPML declined to include lawsuits involving Farxiga or other SGLT2 inhibitors in the multidistrict litigation, finding that the existance of competing drug company defendants might unnecessarily complicate case management, due to the need to protect trade secret and confidential information.

According to new petition filed with the JPML on February 3rd, there are now 18 Farxiga lawsuits pending in six federal jurisdictions. Thirteen of these claims have been in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs are seeking to have these claims, along with any involving a sister drug called Xigduo XR, centralized before a single judge in the Southern District of New York, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, or Southern District of Illinois.

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